As the results of the election became clearer I acerbically tweeted that perhaps the arc of the moral universe does not bend towards justice. It was half sarcasm, half honest sentiment. Yesterday I spent a lot of time ruminating about the loss of a narrative.
I started paying attention to politics and social issues in the late 90s. Although there were ebbs and flows, until yesterday I could see steady movement towards a more just world. Progress was incremental (far too slow for my liking) but it seemed that we were at least moving in the direction of equality and justice. The small gains we’ve made over the last 20 (50?) years feel lost. Hate and bigotry have been mainstreamed again.
This presents a challenge to me. I work for justice and teach about social change because at some level I believe it can happen. But maybe it can’t happen, at least not in the way that I want it to. I don’t want to let disenchantment lead to inactivity but I feel the seductive pull.
I’m wrestling with two questions and I hope that you, dear reader, might be able to help.
- Is there a narrative to be found? Those wiser, and likely older, was my narrative falsely constructed? Did such a story never exist in the first place? What story do you see?
- Why do you seek justice? What motivates you when despair and disenchantment creep in? How do you work when the results are so tenuous and fleeting?
Chime in. I need some help here.